Annie Penelope Park

Annie Park was an enthusiastic and active supporter of patriotic and charitable causes in Otago throughout her lifetime. Born in Scotland, Annie moved to Dunedin with her family when she was 15 years old.

During the First World War, with four sons away at the front, Annie became involved in a number of charitable associations and worked to help raise funds for various wartime causes. In particular, Annie focussed on supporting New Zealand soldiers while fighting overseas and upon their return, and often spoke at public meetings on this theme. As a member of the Ladies’ Committee of the Otago Patriotic and General Welfare Association, Annie also helped to organise fundraising events for Belgian relief. The Belgian government awarded Annie the Médaille de la Reine Elisabeth (Queen Elisabeth Medal) for her work in this area.

Family information

Parents: David Maxwell and Annie Maxwell (née Strachan)
Born: circa 1872, in Scotland
Died: 23 June 1944, aged 72
Buried: Cremated at Anderson’s Bay, Dunedin.
Married: Samuel Morgan Park, 1892

Children:

Active in: Dunedin

Obituary/death notice

1.

MRS S. M. PARK – The death occurred yesterday morning of Mrs S. M. Park, aged 72, after a short illness. Mrs Park was born at Montrose, Scotland, and came to New Zealand at the age of 15. In 1892 she married Mr S. M. Park, formerly secretary of the Otago Education Board, their golden wedding being celebrated two years ago. Mrs Park was well known in Dunedin through her connection with many philanthropic organisations in the city. During the last war her work on behalf of soldiers and their dependents took up much of her time, and after the war she was for some years an honorary visitor for the Soldiers and Dependents’ Welfare Association. For her work on behalf of the Belgian Relief Fund, she was awarded the King of the Belgians’ Bronze Medal of Queen Elizabeth. Among the organisations on which she held executive positions in later years were the W.D.F.U., the Home Economics Association, the League of Mothers, the Girl Guides’ Association, the Territorial Association, the Vocational Guidance Association, the Society for the Protection of Women and Children, and the Otago Pioneer Women’s Memorial Association.

Mrs Park was greatly interested in education, and she was a member of the Otago High Schools’ Board of Governors for 12 years. She was a foundation member of the Otago Women’s Club, her particular interests being the Musical and Literary Circles. During the present war she was working for the welfare of the armed forces and returned men as a member of the Territorial Association Women’s Committee, and she showed great interest in the work of the Returned Soldiers’ Association. Four of her sons served in the war of 1914–18, the eldest being killed in action at Messines, and the fourth son dying five years ago as the result of war service. She is survived by her husband and three sons, Brigadier R. S. Park, C.B.E.,  R.N.Z.A. of London, Mr L. M. Park, F.R.C.S., of Birmingham, and Mr R. L. Park, of Green Island.

- Otago Daily Times, 24 June 1944, p. 6

2.

MRS S. M. Park – Tribute from R.S.A.

At the meeting of the executive of the Dunedin Returned Services’ Association last night reference was made to the death of Mrs S. M. Park. Paying a tribute to the work that Mrs Park had done for the association, Mr S. G. Scoular said that she had been a member of the committee of the first Soldiers’ Club, which had been formed in 1915 and was the forerunner of the Returned Services Association. Four of her sons served in the last war, one paying the supreme sacrifice and one dying as a result of war service. For nearly 30 years she had been an indefatigable worker in the interests of ex-servicemen, and at the time of her death had been chairman of the women’s section of the association.

On Mr Scoular’s suggestions, it was decided to place on record a minute of appreciation of Mrs Parks’s services, and also to write to Mr Park and the members of the family expressing the association’s sympathy in their loss. One son, Brigadier R. S. Park, is the officer commanding the New Zealand forces in the United Kingdom.

- Otago Daily Times, 30 June 1944, p. 3

Selected sources

'The War', Otago Daily Times, 10 November 1914, p. 3

'Sports Carnival', Otago Daily Times, 10 February 1915, p. 6

'Sixth Reinforcements', Otago Daily Times, 17 April 1915, p. 10

'Ninth Reinforcements', Otago Daily Times, 11 October 1915, p. 3

'Women's National Reserve', Otago Daily times, 9 March 1916, p. 6

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